How to Protect Your Home Electronics
Use Surge Suppressor
A surge suppressor protects computers, televisions, DVD players, game consoles and other electronic equipment from electric spikes and surges, which account for less than 20 percent of all power disturbances. A surge suppressor should protect your equipment from every connection to the outside world. If you have cable TV, the surge suppressor should protect both incoming power and the cable line.
There are two types of surge suppressors: plug-in and whole house. A plug-in surge suppressor must be installed on every electrical outlet where you have sensitive electronic equipment. A whole house surge suppressor is installed by a licensed electrician at your electric meter and protects all the circuits in your house.
Most surge suppressors have limited energy handling capabilities and should be installed in conjunction with a lightning arrester at your main power service entrance.
Use an Uninterruptible Power System (UPS)
A UPS uses batteries to power connected equipment during outages or when the line voltage drops below or exceeds limits set in the UPS unit. A UPS can give you enough time to turn your equipment off without damage to the equipment or data. You should also unplug your equipment for further protection after turning it off.
Use a Line Conditioner
A line conditioner regulates incoming voltage to within the safe limits of a computer and other sensitive electronics. It will protect your equipment from most voltage sags and surges, but does not protect your equipment during a power outage. Some surge suppressors come with built-in line conditioning.
Use a Dedicated Circuit
Avoid putting sensitive equipment (computer, television, stereo, modem, DVD, etc.) on the same circuit as major appliances (furnace, air conditioner and kitchen appliances).
Note about protecting home electronics: Surge suppressors, UPS’s and line conditioners are available with a wide range of features, protection capabilities and cost. Get advice from an expert to be sure you get equipment that meets your specific needs. Large appliances like refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners can be protected from voltage spikes with a surge suppressor and lightning arrester, but not from power outages which can disrupt digital clocks, programming or memory. Look for a built-in battery backup feature when buying new appliances with digital functions.
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